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Article  •  28 April 2023


What we're gifting to our mums and mother figures this Mother's Day!

Want some inspiration for great Mother's Day gifts? Read on to hear what members of the Penguin team are planning to gift to their mothers, grandmothers and mother figures!

Go as a River Shelley Read

NAOMI: This year I’m giving Mum Go As a River. Such a beautiful story about a woman in the 1930s (??) forced to live an unconventional life but discovering freedom and independence as a result. I’m sure it will make her cry, as I did! This book is being compared to Where the Crawdads Sing which I agree with, in the sense of natural environment being so central to the story, but there’s also something satisfying about it that reminded me of Great Circle and The Whalebone Theatre. A quality yet relaxing read.


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Ottolenghi Test Kitchen: Extra Good Things Noor Murad, Yotam Ottolenghi and Noor Murad, Yotam Ottolenghi

JEROME: This mother’s day I will be gifting my mum Ottolenghi’s new book Extra Good Things. My mum is a foodie with a penchant for the fabulous. She is an excellent cook herself and is always on the lookout for new and exciting recipes to impress my dad. Ottolenghi has been helping mum’s impress dads forever and we owe a debt of gratitude for that alone. So get your mum Ottolenghi’s Extra Good Things for mother’s day … she’ll love you for it! So will your dad.


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Someone Else's Shoes Jojo Moyes

SACHA: With mum being a massive Jojo Moyes fan, there’s only one option for a present this Mother’s Day, of course it had to be Someone Else’s Shoes! Full of female empowerment and friendship, it’s the perfect light-hearted chick-lit book for her to read over the weekend!



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Flavour Kiss Belinda MacDonald

SUMMER: I'll be gifting my lovely mum a copy of Flavour Kiss, as she loves cooking and trying out creative new dishes. I'm sure she'll enjoy testing all of Belinda's luxurious, flavourful and easy recipes like this Spinach and Ricotta Gnudi one! 



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The Tea Ladies Amanda Hampson

LOUISE: If my mum was still alive I’d be gifting her The Tea Ladies by Amanda Hampson. She thoroughly enjoyed the Richard Osman’s and this is such a similar readership. It’s set in the 60’s, cosy crime & set in Sydney so our part of the world. The cover is so engaging, she would have been delighted by it. I thought of her the minute I saw the cover. As mothers we just want to escape into another era and not have to think too hard while we do so.


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The Queen's Wife Joanne Drayton

BECKY: This year I’m giving my 70-something mother Laughing at the Dark and The Queen’s Wife. Mum was a second wave feminist in the 1970s, and supported her lesbian friend in one of NZ’s first custody battles, so both these stories of brave and interesting NZ women will resonate with her.

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Laughing at the Dark Barbara Else

ERENA: I’ll be gifting my mum Barbara Else’s Laughing at the Dark. Barbara’s journey is representative of the psychological and social freedoms that women in New Zealand courageously won for themselves through the 70s and 80s, and I see so much of my own mum in her!

EMILY: I can’t wait to give my mother Barbara Else’s very funny and moving memoir ‘Laughing at the Dark’. She’s of the exact same generation as Else and I know she’ll relate to her account of the uptight 1950s and 60s in New Zealand, as well as the blossoming of feminism and the struggle to launch a career and raise young kids in the 1970s. The perfect Mother’s Day treat!

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Spinach & Ricotta Gnudi with Lemon, Sage & Pine Nut Brown Butter Sauce

A nod to the Italian keto mummas for this comforting dish! The soft, pillowy gnocchi-like dumplings are made with ricotta instead of potato, which makes them lighter and less chewy than their cousins. The gnudi are then baked instead of boiled and drenched in a wonderfully buttery finger-licking sauce.

60 Second Dip

Loaded with nourishing fats, herbs and spices, this dip is super simple to prepare and an easy way to add a splash of vibrant colour and flavour to a big platter of veggies. This recipe will have you dipping, smearing, dunking and diving back for another forkful. It’s a simple yet stunning addition to a holiday season grazing platter.

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